The Twitter/X owner continues his obsession with District 5 supervisor Dean Preston, on Friday tweeting that “Dean Preston should go to prison,” prompting the tech PAC in line for Musk’s promised $100k donation to defeat Preston to say they’ll refuse the money.
It was just one week ago today that the world’s sometimes richest man and owner of Twitter-slash-X Elon Musk took a micro-interest in local San Francisco politics, and claimed he’d donate $100,000 to defeat Supervisor Dean Preston in the 2024 election. Given Musk’s alleged history of non-payment of bills, one wondered if Musk would actually pay the money. And now it seems to be a moot point, as the anti-Preston tech PAC in line to receive that money says they won’t take it, after Musk tweeted Friday that “Dean Preston should go to prison.”
The tweet was in response to a Thursday Mission Local story about an SF Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee hearing to ban retail security guards from drawing guns, legislation prompted by the fatal shooting of Banko Brown in April by a Walgreens security guard.
Wait… Elon Musk follows Mission Local on Twitter?
Yes someone powerful and influential is dragging Dean Preston in a very public forum. But is Preston absolutely loving these attacks from the widely disliked Elon Musk? Draw your own conclusions from the fact that Preston’s office immediately shot off a press release entitled "Billionaire Fascist Elon Musk Calls for Imprisonment of Democratically-Elected San Francisco Official."
"These attacks are beyond the pale," Preston said in the release. "A billionaire calling for a democratically-elected official to be sent to prison for no reason is textbook fascism. Regardless, I will continue advocating for my constituents even if that makes billionaires uncomfortable and increasingly unhinged."
And about that $100,000 donation Musk promised to help defeat Preston: In light of Musk's latest provocative tweet, the presumed recipients now say they won’t accept it. That whole subplot started last week when highly vocal Vocal Y Combinator CEO Garry Tan said he was making a $50,000 donation to an anti-Preston effort of the tech PAC GrowSF, and Musk responded “I will double that.” Now GrowSF says they won’t take Musk’s money.
“We won’t accept the donation,” GrowSF co-founder Steven Buss told Mission Local. “We need to be aligned on values with our donors and it’s clear we differ with Elon on a number of important issues (including locking up political opponents).”
Buss also told Mission Local the Musk's tweet was “a stupid distraction” that has “nothing to do with us or the voters who care about clean and safe streets.”
Parenthetically, the security guard gun-drawing ban over which Musk demanded Preston be jailed was actually supported by the three moderate supervisors on the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee, Supervisors Matt Dorsey, Joel Engardio, and Catherine Stefani, all of whom are presumably approved of by GrowSF.
But in terms of Musk’s preoccupation with Dean Preston, you’d better believe that so-called “stupid distraction” is something that the Re-Elect Dean Preston campaign will be happily making political hay out of right up until Election Day 2024.
Images: (Left) U.S. Air Force photo by Trevor cokley via Wikimedia Commons, (Right) SFBOS.org